Mesa school district sued under anti-LGBTQ+ law
Mesa’s school board is getting sued by an extremist board member, with help from Christian nationalist legal firm America First Legal. The suit will test a Ducey-era law suppressing LGBTQ+ expression in schools.
The law requires schools to notify parents if students say they’re questioning their sexual or gender identity. According to the lawsuit, MPS staff allegedly acted on students’ behalf to keep these conversations confidential.
America First Legal’s website expresses devotion to fighting “radical transgender ideology,” “the fake news media,” and liberals' supposed “anti-faith […] anti-American crusade.”
Meanwhile in MPS, a teacher has been forced to quit after receiving harassment driven by conservative media for dressing as the devil during Spirit Week.
Mesa Public Schools board typically meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. 6:30 p.m.at, 549 N. Stapley Drive, Mesa.
Deer Valley caves to racist objections over curriculum
Deer Valley Unified School District Members Jennie Paperman, Kim Fisher, and Paul Carver tanked a proposed English, Language, Arts curriculum explicitly because they didn’t like the idea of anti-racism being taught in English classes.
This curriculum has been available for public review since May, and was widely publicized. Public feedback was 91.7% in the curriculum’s favor.
VP Fisher complained that the first few pages of the curriculum she reviewed mentioned anti-racism, while admitting numerous times she did not review the rest it. (See the 19 minute mark here.)
Member Carver objected to teaching about racial inequality in English classes. (Around 25 minutes in here.)
The district heard from a loud but vocal minority of right-wing constituents about the issue. Member Simacek shared alarm about some of the emails she received, stating that one sender said “there weren’t enough blond-haired, blue-eyed children” represented in this curriculum.
Constituents can email Members Fisher, Carver, and Paperman with opinions of their “no” votes, and thanking members Ordway and Simacek. Ask that the board reconsider the McGraw Hill StudyCore ELA Curricula for grades 6-8.
You can also attend the next board meeting Dec 12th at 6PM at 20402 N. 15th Avenue, Phoenix.
Dysart district eliminates social workers
Dysart Unified School District Board members Chrystal Chaffin, Dawn Densmore, Jennifer Drake passed a measure eliminating all social worker positions in the district. They were met with opposition from Members Christine Pritchard and Jo Grant.
Board members can be contacted here.
The next DUSD meeting is December 14th. 6:00 p.m. at the Dysart Education Center, 15802 North Parkview Place in Surprise.